In this Newsletter:» Rovaté 2012 - The Art of the Improviser
» European Tour Notes
» Rova Members' Upcoming Shows
» New Adams and Raskin Recordings
» Favorite Street - Jon Raskin
» Arcana V: Musicians on Music, Magic & Mysticism
» RadiOM - Improv:21 archives
» Join the Rova:Arts Community
:: ROVA NEWS: APRIL – MAY 2012 ::
Back from the Maelstrom
ODC Dance Commons
351 Shotwell Street (between 17th and 18th Sts.)
Tel (415) 863-6606
Rova has invited 4 immensely original improvising musicians to join us for the upcoming installment of our perennial series, The Art of the Improviser. Electro-acoustic vocalist, Pamela Z; computer-electronics maven, Ikue Mori; electronics and sound percussionist, Gino Robair; and contrabassist, composer and bandleader, Lisa Mezzacappa will augment the quartet for an evening of small group and ensemble open improvisations.
European Tour Notes
Rova's trip in late February to March was the fullest and longest tour
in many years-12 concerts in 11 European cities in 19 days. Larry Ochs and
friends on the continent did a fabulous job securing gigs and special
projects in a challenging economic and artistic environment, and the
quartet was in top form to deliver mindbending sets. In addition to the
usual club dates, we presented our Sound in
Space program in 3 cities, conducted a 3 day workshop with
student musicians, and had a CD release show for A Short History in Berlin.
Rova Members' Upcoming Shows
Remaining Dates for Larry Ochs’ Kihnoua Tour
Wednesday and Thursday, March 28 – 29
Barney Childs Festival
Two nights of composer Barney Childs music, featuring many of his students and collaborators. Jon Raskin studied with Childs at the University of Redlands in the early 1970’s and will perform at the festival.
“Tuesdays” at Tom's Place (Note: shows are not on a
Friday, March 30
ROOM: Low Reed
Pamela Z Productions presents an evening of new music for bass clarinets, baritone sax, and other low reeds (combined with a little voice & electronics). Each will do a solo set and/or duo with Pamela Z.
Marty Walker (Bass Clarinet)
Tuesday Night, April 3
Larry Ochs, Darren Johnston + Don Robinson
The Makeout Room
3225 22nd Street at Mission
No Cover www.makeoutroom.com/events/
Dan Plonsey – tenor sax
New CD / New MonstersCheck out the review for the new CD featuring Steve Adams!
Saturday, April 21, 8:00 pm
One of the giants of SF’s music/performance art scene, the always amazing Pamela Z, will open the evening.
Dates for Ochs in Europe
April 15: Ochs + Miya Masaoka
@ 19 rue Paul Fort, Paris, France
Saturday, April 28, 8:00 pm
Larry Ochs – tenor and soprano saxes
Aram Shelton – alto sax, clarinet
Scott Walton - contrabass
Kjell Nordeson – percussion
Red Poppy Art House
Friday, May 4, 6:30 pm
The Matt Small Trio
Matt Small – bass
Steve Adams – reeds
Shane Shanahan – percussion
De Young Museum
The Jazz School
Sunday, May 13 time TBD
Steve Adams Quartet at the In the Flow Festival
Steve Adams – saxes and bass flute
2114 P Street
Also appearing at Antiquité that day are Scott Amendola vs. Wil Blades, Dottie Grossman and Mike Vlatkovich, Lovely Builders and numerous others. The In the Flow Festival runs from May 9-14 at several locations in Sacramento.
Thursday, May 24
Dan Plonsey’s New Monsters
1317 San Pablo Ave
New Raskin & Adams Recordings
Jon Raskin and Carla Harryman: Open Box
Jon Raskin and Carla Harryman Tzadik Records 7639
From Tzadik: Three years in the making, Open Box is one of the most exciting and successful collaborations of poetry and music ever made. With meticulous attention to detail, Jon Raskin has set the genre-busting poetry of Carla Harryman to music ranging from rock and metal to jazz and free improv. As radical as the writing, the music is brilliantly arranged, and interacts with the texts in a variety of dynamic ways. Each track is a world of its own, and moves forward with a focus and direction unprecedented in music/poetry collaborations. Featuring Raskin’s all-star west coast quartet, and the poet herself reading from some of her most cutting edge works, this is music-poetry at its very best. A masterpiece!
John Hanes and Steve Adams:
Hanes/Adams, the new recording of the John Hanes/Steve Adams electronics duo, is available now on Bandcamp hanesadams.bandcamp.com - ten tracks of inimitable strangeness for your listening pleasure.
Favorite Street – Jon Raskin
The Book of Sounds / The Book of Hours / Face á
Anttii is a Finnish musician who plays the diatonic accordion and has
composed a mesmerizing set of minimalist pieces.
Control a Giant Modular Synthesizer from the Comfort of Your Home
Listen to, and control, a Massive Analog Synthesizer that was built
over the course of 40 years by Joe Paradiso—an associate professor at the
MIT Media Lab. Up to 12 people can log on and move the controls, or you
can just log on and enjoy listening.
Arcana V: Musicians on Music, Magic & Mysticism
Answering a need for critical attention towards experimental and avant-garde music, Arcana is a ground-breaking publishing project of John Zorn’s—as far-ranging and dynamic as the current generation of musicians. Through manifestoes, scores, interviews, notes and critical papers, performers and composers address composing, playing, improvising, teaching, and thinking in and through music. Rather than an attempt to distill or define musicians' work, Arcana illuminates with personal vision and experience.
Mysticism, magic and alchemy all come into play in the creative process. For centuries musicians have tapped into things spiritual, embracing ritual, spell, incantation and prayer deeply into their life and work. Although the connection of music to mysticism has been consistent, well documented and productive, it is still shrouded in mystery and largely misunderstood. For this special edition, Arcana focuses on the nexus of mysticism and spirituality in the magical act of making music. Far from an historical overview or cold musicologist’s study, these essays illuminate a fascinating and elusive subject via the eloquent voices of today’s most distinguished modern practitioners and greatest occu lt thinkers, providing insights into the esoteric traditions and mysteries involved in the composition and performance of the most mystical of all arts. Available in April 2012.
RadiOM - Improv:21 Archives
Want to sample some of the Improv:21 informances? We have uploaded all the Improv:21 informances on RadiOM (the archive website of Other Minds). There is a lot of stimulating information in each show which you can easily stream and watch/listen to.
Here's the complete list of events currently available:
Join the Rova:Arts Community
Become a Fan on Facebook!
You can stay in touch with all Rova:Arts activities through our website, the Rova newsletter, and our FaceBook and MySpace pages. See links at the bottom of the page. Also, check out Rova on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel and be notified when there are new Rova videos for you to watch. Go to www.youtube.com/user/ROVAARTSSF and click the subscribe button.
Thanks to Rova Friends!
We want to express our deepest gratitude to all the generous private and public donors who contribute to Rova:Arts. Your support has been essential to the successful presentation and documentation of our projects over the years. As Rova enters our 35 th season of adventurous improvised music making, we hope those of you who do contribute to the arts annually will consider making a donation to Rova:Arts.
Click here to find out more and to Join Rova:Arts. If you are interested in getting involved in a more hands-on-way, feel free to contact us: www.rova.org/contact.html. Thanks for being part of the art.
:: WATCH FOR MORE ROVA NEWS IN April 2012 ::
Rovaté 2012 - The Art of the Improviser - continued
Taking its name from an early Ornette Coleman album, and loosely based on the performance concept of late British guitar player Derek Bailey’s “Company Week”, The Art of the Improviser is a forum for inventive musicians to present spontaneously conceived pieces in various formations—settings for each player to explore, probe, challenge and excite. This will be the 7th Art of the Improviser concert we’ve organized since 1995; past concerts have featured dozens of players from the Bay Area and beyond—including Miya Masaoka, Ches Smith, Vijay Iyer, LaDonna Smith, Fred Longborg-Holm, Vinny Golia, Nels Cline and MaryClare Brzytwa. In keeping with past Art of the Improviser ensembles, the players for the May 12 concert were selected by Rova because of their passionately individual voices, and their commitment to working in a global network of creativity. The audience can expect the unexpected, and will be engaged by masterfully crafted soundscapes.[Back]
Sound in Space
Developed over several years, and consolidated into a concept program for a Berkeley Art Museum show a year ago, Sound in Space is a group of pieces in the repertoire that are designed for resonant environments-spaces which would not be conducive to Rova's "normal" club date tunes and more densely detailed works. Ochs' Low Light Inches places the players around the audience, showering them with hocketed melodic fragments, and setting up a double duo dialog that exploits the pairs' distance from one another; Raskin's To the Right of the Blue Wall, also played from the corners of the room, is an open-form improvisation in which the horns create layered, interactive correspondences; and during the oldest piece in the set, the Adams-Ochs work, Grace—originally designed for San Francisco's Grace Cathedral—Rova moves around the space, establishing the locus of the music, and continuously morphing perspectives.
Also included in the Sound in Space program are Adams' Graphic #38 (for Steve Lacy), Raskin-Adams' For the Birds, the 'Morton Feldman' segment of Ochs' Certain Space, and 3 pieces from Alvin Curran's Electric Rags II, composed for Rova in 1989
Our second Sound in Space concert, given 10 days after Wels, was in Metz, France. Although the space wasn't as spectacular as the Minorite monastery, we had a very intensely focused audience, and the special aspects of the spatially-oriented program were more thoroughly explored by the quartet. Rova played one set, and the second half of the program featured French soprano saxophonist Michel Doneda's Trio. Doneda is a brilliant player with a very singular vision for this trio, using minimal percussion and accordion-lower case intensity!
The next night, we presented the last of the Sound in Space concerts in Paris, at the most spectacular site of the tour-the Collège des Bernardins, which is located not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, in the 5th Arrondissement. The 13th century cloister was restored in recent years, and is the venue for a unique music series curated by the adventurous Parisian, David Sanson. Exceedingly long decay in the space required us to play the room in a particular way to make the music work, and confirmed again that the pieces chosen have the flexibility required for adapting to a range of environments. We were joined by friends and colleagues afterwards, including Russian percussionist, Vladimir Tarasov, and artist, Lauri Nykopp, making our stay in Paris one of the highlights of the trip.
Workshop in Bern, Switzerland
The days of workshops and concerts were organized by Swiss saxophonist, Jürg Solothurnmann, who was also a participant. Jürg did a wonderful job getting the word out to a good mix of experienced musicians, and arranging hospitality and other practical aspects of our stay in Bern. The students were a delight. They came from a broad range of backgrounds, and contributed enthusiastically to make the sessions a great success for us all. Our concert at the close of the stay gave us the opportunity to contextualize much of what we covered over the 3 days, and making the concepts musical. This confirmed to us the value of sharing Rova perspectives, our compositional approaces, and our performance practices and processes. Big shoutouts to Mr. Solothurnmann and to all the participants!
CD Release Concert for A Short History
Days before we departed for Europe in February, we received our newest recording from the label, Jazzwerkstatt, which is operated by veteran producer/organizer, Ulli Blobel. Mr. Blobel set up 3 concerts on our tour, culminating in a CD release show in Berlin. The Berlin experience was a bit bizarre in that both the hotel and venue were right on Kurfürstendamm Strasse—basically the 5th Avenue of Berlin with all the designer shops represented. But, the venue, the Institut Français was an elegant space, used as an French officers' club at the end of World War II, and it was conducive to a really solid two-set Rova blowfest.
The tour wasn't with minor mishaps, including a couple accidents, some lost items, colds, and few missed cues (!), but the solid block of nightly concerts gave us an incredible opportunity to drill down on the pieces, and really move things around artistically. It also confirmed again that the quartet is eager for concert and project opportunities, is well poised to delve deeper into the Rova sound pool, and is still feeling the old fire in the belly creating new music.[Back]